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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
AddiBeth

My Unfortunate Morning (ATTN: Cairma & eventually Jade)

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There is nothing comfortable about falling asleep in one’s clothes, particularly when one has an ongoing feud with a roommate.  At least that was Addison’s rationale for long hours spent staring at shadows on the ceiling.  Surely it wasn’t the dreams she’d had the night before involving a very naked her and an incredibly amused Warders Yard.  Nor did she feel the least bit guilty imagining how her father must have handled his daughter running away without even saying goodbye.  It definitely wasn’t the fear that her first lesson with Cairma had been just a little embarrassing and a reminder as to how much she didn’t know about being a soldier.  And there was no way under the Light that she doubted her spur of the moment decision to become a Warder.

 

Therefore it had to be her uncomfortable mattress and Sandre’s fault.

 

Unfortunately, none of these excuses were likely to do her much good the next morning.  When one of the twins tried to wake her the next morning, she mumbled incoherently, rolled over in bed and buried her head under the pillow.  All she needed was just a few more minutes...

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Watching the sun rise and the trainees trickle into the Yard, Cairma was rather unhappily tapping her foot as her newest charge decided to dwaddle and treat her training like saturday morning chores. Her unamusement of the matter did not help when she asked any of the other passing trainee's where Addison was. 'In bed, still.' they replied. Well! If she wanted to stay in bed, then she should have stayed back at her farm.

 

Storming into the Trainee's barracks, Cairma worked her way until she found Addison's room and wafter a few unanswered light knocks -just so that way the girl couldn't complain that she did not have a warning- she came upon the predictable. Lounged with her mouth half open and he nose slightly whistling and barely half dress was Addison, still asleep and in bed. A scowl, Cairma pulled the sheeting away from the girl.

 

"UP!" Her voice boomed in the room. "When you are training, you will be Up in time for all practice sessions, all fitness sessions and you will NOT be in bed! Now get up and start running to the fitness field. Do not bother changing, dressing, or even putting on shoes. You will go in what you are wearing and if you do not like it, then you will not be late again. Go! Move move move...!!"

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There were three recurring thoughts in Addi’s head that morning and as a general rule, they switched every five strides.  It was about five hundred strides from her room to the fitness field.  Not that Addison was any good with numbers, but her basic arithmetic skills told her she revisited each topic roughly a hundred times.

 

One.  How on earth could she keep making such a fool of herself in front of Cairma?  First the swords, now sleeping in – was she getting in her own way?  Was the unconscious self-sabotage because she couldn’t do this but needed to be expelled from the Yards because selfish pride wouldn’t allow her to quit?  Maybe the “living a dream” experience was just new and scary and so much bigger now, in the middle of it?  Could it be that she really was this incompetent?  Had she gotten anything right since she’d gotten here?  How long could she last?  Where would she go when she failed?  Blood and ashes, why was she suddenly plagued with self-doubt?  Why was she thinking entirely in questions?

 

Two.  Maybe having three male roommates was a blessing in disguise.  If not, she could very well have ended up sleeping in a nightgown or underclothes, which would have made this morning even more embarrassing.  Luckily, instead she was wearing yesterday’s breeches and a sort of undershirt that was, admittedly, rather disgusting after already surviving yesterday’s training – another bonus, the undershirt wasn’t nearly as heavy and sticky as a blouse.  So, maybe she wasn’t off that badly.

 

Three.  It really hurt to run without boots.  She would probably have to see the Yellows again to Heal blisters and cuts.  This made three days in a row; damn, she was already earning a reputation.

 

By the time Addison arrived at the fitness field, Cairma was already waiting.  The woman ran like a gazelle... or Addi ran like a tortoise.  Was she supposed to be winded already?

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It did not take long for the younger girl to be wheezing and falling behind on the track. Cairma did not doubt that the girls feet hurt from the lack of shoes, but she would send the girl for healing later. Better to learn the ice cold feeling of healing early on than later and find the shock of it worse than the wound. Stopping at one part of the track, the inside where there was soft grass for resting. Allowing the girl to catch up, Cairma waited until the girl could breath a little better before continuing the torture session. Even she referred to it as torture although to Addison she would always call it fitness. The first few months were always the worst.

 

"Alright, I'm not going to teach you a few basic exercises that you will do after every lap. First is the sit-up. Come sit on the grass and I'll show you how it is done." The both sat down, "You lay your back flat, like this, with your knee's up. With your stomach I want you to pull yourself up and curl into your knees without your feet or knees moving." Cairma did a few as an example while keeping her hands locked behind her neck. "Yes that is how... no, don't use your head or arms to pull yourself up. It's with your stomach muscles and shoulders. Back straight, Addison." Cairma watched for a bit as Addison did 5 more. "Alright, do about 15 more.... 3, 2, 1. Well done!"

 

"Next is the Push Up. Turn onto your stomach and follow my movements." Cairma moved to her stomach and straightened her body. Liftin her body with her toes and spread hands. "What you want to do is allow yourself down until you are about a half hand from the ground and then push yourself up again, like this." Cairma did a few push ups, and then stopped. "Your turn. Do 20 and then take another run around the track. We'll do this a few more times and call it a day. Go."

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Having unceremoniously collapsed onto the ground, Addi tried to avoid looking at her feet but masochistic curiosity revealed blossoming blisters and a thin trail of blood between her toes, probably the work of a stick she’d tripped over.  Bloody hell, no doubt she’d be sent to the Yellows again after this session – three days in and they already knew her by name!  No doubt they laughed about it in whatever secret lair their Ajah met in.  While it may prove beneficial for her, her budding reputation would probably keep any Yellow Sister from considering a Bond when she became a Tower Guard.

 

As her gasps slowed in frequency, Cairma sat down and motioned for her to join in a more decorous position.  The exercise the woman demonstrated certainly didn’t seem particularly difficult; indeed, the first sit-up was not.  However, after fifteen, her shoulder no longer came quite so close to her knees.  Push-ups were far more difficult; Addison was by no means weak, farming was hard work, but lifting jugs of milk and bales of hay used different muscles than lifting one’s body weight.  While Cairma counted down to zero, Addi bit back tears as her arms trembled with the strain of pushing herself up off the ground.

 

She was almost glad her next task was another lap around the track, until she tried to stand.  The blisters on her feet protested the sudden surge of pressure and her muscles cried in agony, threatening to topple her back to the ground.  With much wincing and gritting of teeth, Addi was back at the track.  Just think: a few more times and they’d call it a day.

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Ooc: Jenny can jump in after this. :) 8)

 

IC:

 

Cairma was hardly without a heart, and she watched with a bit of a wince as the girl forced herself with her bleeding feet over the track as she ran. This girl had guts. Although she had a great deal to learn, and a lot of discipline that she would need to pass the test to earn her Red Cloak of the Tower Guard, Cairma could honestly believe that the girl to do it. Allowing her to push herself into her push ups and situps, Cairma watched as she paused only to catch her breath to continue. Abotu to get up to run the track again, Cairma stopped her. "Wait."

 

Addison gave her a look filled with pain and fatigue.

 

"Did you learn anything from this?" Cairma asked, watching the girl nod her head. "Good. No more for today. Sit down and rest and catch your breath. I will walk you to the infirmary, or carry you if you feel that you can't, once you feel ready to go there. I expect a fair earful and there is no need for you to hear it in my stead." She sat down beside her as she looked over the Yards. It was a beautiful day, and one that just might entice her to run a few laps before seeking out Lyssa for a spar. She enjoyed the one they had and would not made making it a habit as it did both of them good. Relaxing, her eyes turned towards the Tower and catching the sight of someone she had hoped not to see here for at least a while longer, -if ever-. Her heart dropped as she saw the Green Aes Sedai walk straight over. The only thought in her mind aside from fleeing could not even be considered common. "Uh oh... "

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Slippers flashed from underneath her skirt as she danced around her bedroom, why she was doing it she didn't exactly know. It had been some time since she had danced and dancing with an invisible partner was a quick ticket to the Yellows for testing. Of course there were just times when a girl needed to relax and the stress she was dealing with these days would make even the sanest soul go over the edge. She continued to swirl and then stopped at the knock on her door, she didn't want to be caught doing this by anyone, of course anyone who walked into her room without being invited had a death wish. Turning around she walked gracefully over to the door and quickly opened the door, one of her Sitters stood there with a report in her hand. Jade nodded at the woman, and then took the report from her. She smiled at the woman, thanked her and then headed back to her desk to read it, as much as she had enjoyed the dancing, it wasn't as much fun without a partner. A partner was something she hadn't had for some time, weather it be a warder, or a lover, or in fact a friend. With a sigh she sat down with the paper and began to read it carefully, noting any changes that had occurred in the area around them, with the eyes and ears, or with the ajah. It was a well written report and she was lucky to have this woman as one of her Sitters.

 

When she finished she filed the report away and then headed to her bedroom, it was time to take a run. Running would be better than dancing around the room to relieve her stress. She quickly changed into a pair of black breeches which were form fitting and breathed well. Over that she wore a pale green shirt that laced up at the neck, and a form fitting green vest over that. She pulled on soft kid leather boots that reached her knees and strapped her sword on at her side. With one last movement she pinned her waist length auburn hair up on her head with sword hairpins. She glanced at herself in the mirror with her emerald green eyes. Over her face she put the matching green mask, securing it in place with a simple weave, this one was fairly simple, with a decide of roses down in the side in gold. With one last glance around she left the room and set the ward over the rooms. She headed out of the Green Quarters and slipped behind a tapestry with a furtive glance around. Jade jogged down the stairs and headed out into the yard in an easy lope. It wasn't long before she noticed two women near one, one stood with her back to her and the other lay on the ground, where it looked like she had just finished push ups. She would recognize the back and stance of the woman standing anywhere. With a start she glared at the womans back and began to walk forward. Just than Cairma turned and looked at her and she could tell by the look on her face that the woman was not happy to see her. Jade walked towards her, her eyes never leaving the face of the woman she had once been bonded to. As she reached her she spoke, "Well hello there, who might you be?" She totally ignored her former gaidar and focused on the woman at her feet...

 

Jaydena Mckanthur

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More than happy to collapse at Cairma’s instruction, Addi sat and nodded absently at her mentor’s instructions while absently picking at one of the half dozen blisters covering the soles of her feet.  As such, she didn’t notice the approaching Aes Sedai until the woman’s voice elicited a jump from her, exacerbating sore muscles.  More surprising than an Aes Sedai deciding to approach her, apparently ignoring Cairma, was her mentor’s reaction.  By the time Addi turned towards the blonde woman, her face had reverted to its usual stony composure but the trainee was almost positive she’d heard the infamous words “Uh oh.”

 

Refusing to groan, she bit back a number of whines, moans, and whimpers as she struggled to her feet.  Addi attempted a shaky bow, nearly twisting as ankle in the process.  “Good morning Aes Sedai, it is an honour. I am Addison Thwait, only recently a Tower Trainnee.”  Addison might not have looked and felt so ridiculous if only she wasn’t still panting from the workout.  Unsure of how to address the situation, considering Cairma’s reaction to the Aes Sedai’s approach, Addi erred on the side of politesse and introduced the woman.  “This is my mentor, Cairma Vishnu.”

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Jaydena glanced down at the woman sitting on the ground near here again, waiting for her to respond, she very pointedly ignored Cairma as she looked only at the woman. The woman made it to her feet and Jade actually had to try not to laugh, it was obvious that the woman was in a huge amount of pain, but she was at least trying to act the way a future Gaidar would around an Aes Sedai. The woman made a bow, although not the best she had ever seen but at least the girl made the effort to do so. “Good morning Aes Sedai, it is an honour. I am Addison Thwait, only recently a Tower Trainnee. This is my mentor, Cairma Vishnu.” She arched her eyebrow at the young woman and spoke. "Pleasure to meet you Addision, my name is Jaydena Mckanthur and I a Green Sitter here at the White Tower. I do actually know Cairma, she was my Gaidar, and has refused to become one again." Not even looking at Cairma she continued, "I am glad to hear you are a Trainee, times are hard, and we can never have enough Guards and Warders. How are you enjoying your studies so far?" She laced her hands together at her waist and turned her body slightly away from Cairma, ignoring the woman who had once been one of her closest friends....

 

Jaydena Mckanthur

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Cairma was Jaydena’s... ex-Gaidar?

 

Blink.

 

Blink.

 

‘Oh damn.’

 

Addison had never really understood the old adage “between a rock and a hard place” until right about now.  On one hand, she was not only talking to a Green Aes Sedai, but a Green Sitter.  Despite having only arrived two days prior, she had learned quickly the hierarchy of ranks:

- She, being a trainee and a new one at that, was at the very bottom of the ladder (unless one planned to include Tower servants and often even they had the ability to boss her around)

- Novices came next, though they weren’t actually supposed to be in the training yards, trainees were expected to treat them with respect since one day they would be Aes Sedai

- Accepted

- Tower Guards which, in and of itself, had a hierarchy

- Aes Sedai and by proxy, their Warders

- Sitters

- Amyrlin Seat and by proxy, her Keeper

According to the list, Sitters were only ever trumped by the Amyrlin Seat or Keeper; it was unlikely Addi would see them any time soon, let alone try to carry on a conversation with them.  However, the problem with her list was that the position of “mentor” was sort of a ghost title.  Did loyalty trump hierarchy?  After all, it was unlikely Jaydena Sedai would ever see her any time soon; whereas Addison would be spending every day of the next... however long it took to become a Tower Guard, with Cairma. 

 

Yet, the Aes Sedai embodied the woman she one day dreamed of Bonding; not only a Green, no doubt complete with the bravery, tactical skills, and wisdom required of both Aes Sedai and warrior, but a Sitter, already a powerful woman.  This was the type of Aes Sedai Addison could see gleemen sings songs about: beautiful, powerful, and the strange mask covering her face lent a dose of the mysterious.  Jaydena Sedai: the name was practically musical without the added effect of harp and tune.  Jaydena Sedai and Addison Gaidar.  The stories would tell of a deep and abiding friendship; a duo in which Addi was a partner, not merely a lackey.

 

Unfortunately, there was no way on earth those dream would come to fulfillment if she managed to infuriate Cairma this early in her career.

 

‘Oh damn, indeed.’

 

Addi pictured herself walking along fence rails at the farm, only theses fence rails were ten feet high and she faced the possibility of ruining what would have surely been a lustrous career.  “I am enjoying my studies very much, Jaydena Sedai, thank you.”  Pause, think, balance.  “Cairma is an excellent teacher.”

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Jade watched as the Tower Trainee blinked rapidly after her words and she could only imagine what the young woman was thinking. She herself would have been at a loss for words in this situation. The way the girl responded would be a true measure of her mettle as a future Tower Guard to protect their Tower and a possible Warder for someone in her ajah or another ajah. Jade saw the girl watching her, looking her over, and wondered what the young woman thought of her. Did she see the scars, the mask, did she see a weak woman who still yearned to be bonded to the woman next to her, or did she see a strong woman, made of steel yet sensual. This was the image she worked to project but sometimes she failed utterly, like the day Cairma had found her in a frozen river shaking and trying to find the courage to end it all. Her miserable life full of anger, loss, pain, and abuse. She shook her head to clear those memories and listened as they began to speak again. “I am enjoying my studies very much, Jaydena Sedai, thank you. Cairma is an excellent teacher.” She smiled with one side of her mouth and looked over at Cairma for one moment before she focused back on Addison. "Yes Cairma is indeed an excellent teacher in every way, she taught me many things about myself while we were bonded, including the kind of woman and Aes Sedai I want to be. She is an amazing woman who I am sure you will learn much from, not just how to hold a sword, and execute a sword for correctly, if you are lucky she will teach you much about life and about what it means to be bound to a Sister. If that is indeed your ultimate goal someday."

 

She smiled with both sides of her face, her eyes lighting up in her face, she didn't smile much these days, she always felt like she looked like parody of some kind of monster when she did. Her mask and the scars which were hidden by the mask were roped scars that were totally disgusting. Turning away from that line of thinking she looked at Addison, "So how long have you been at the Tower to train and what would you like to do with your time here and in fact your life?" She glanced back over at Cairma and wondered what the other woman's goals were now that she was back, and why had she come back, oh yes she knew the woman's reasons but there seemed to be something missing from that list. A part of her hoped that it was missing that connection, the sisterhood that they had formed while bonded, the connection of Aes Sedai to Gaidar. They had been very close, even closer when Cairma had become pregnant, and the side-effects through the bond had brought her to her knees. Turning away from Cairma she waited for Addison to speak...

 

Jaydena Mckanthur

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"I think that is enough, Jaydena Sedai." There was a cold clip to her voice as she interrupted rather rudely into the conversation. However, to pay rude back with rude seemed hardly noteworthy as her former bond-holder completely ignored her while talking to her mentee right in front of her. Even Cairma drew the line somewhere with how much she would tolerate from an Aes Sedai. They may wield the One Power but she was still revered among their ranks. Few made it to her leve of skill and Aes Sedai damn well knew to respect that. "Go to the hospital wing now, Addi. I will meet up with you there." After the morning start Cairma expected the girl to obey. Thankfully she did before Jaydena could keep her from changing the orders. Not even waiting until Addison was out of earshot Cairma turned to Jaydena.

 

"If you wish to ignore my presence, Jaydena, next time do it from across the Yard and not in front of my face. Now, get out what you were thinking and leave. I have a mentee to attend to and do not have time for Aes Sedai games. Especially from you."

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Despite the fact that Jaydena Sedai’s only acknowledgement of her apparently ex-Bondmate was a brief glance in the woman’s direction, Addison could tell the words were meant as much and likely more for Cairma than for herself.  It wasn’t that the trainee resented being seemingly used to hold a very one-sided conversation between two estranged people – not exactly, though her ego twitched with irritation; however, she felt intrusive upon a private struggle between the two.  Jaydena’s outwards indifference toward the glowering Tower Guard contrasted with the tender words with which she described the woman, who could obviously hear every words as clearly as Addi, standing behind them.

 

Lost in contemplation over the likelihood of being caught in the possible crossfire should either woman actually ever address the other openly, the trainee gave a small start when the subject of conversation was turned back to her.  She was just in the process of breathing, a necessity in order to avoid embarrassing herself further by gasping for air halfway through a response to the Aes Sedai’s questions, when Cairma grew tired of being ignored.

 

Addison was unsure whether to label her ordered dismissal as a blessing or lost opportunity.  On one hand, she would now be very clear of any stray cutting remarks between the two should they begin to argue; on the other hand, her conversation with the Green Sitter hardly presented a worthy prospective Warder.  Unfortunately, having already irritated her mentor this morning, disobedience was not an option.  She bowed to the Aes Sedai, saying “It is, indeed, my intention to one day serve a Sister.  Goodbye, Jaydena Sedai.”  Then, with one last glance at Cairma, Addi hobbled along the familiar path towards the infirmary.

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"I think that is enough, Jaydena Sedai." She turned and looked at Cairma in absolute shock, she couldn't believe the woman would dare to speak to her in such a manner. Her voice was totally cold and she talked to her as she would a child or perhaps that was exactly how she talked to Jaime when he misbehaved. "Go to the hospital wing now, Addi. I will meet up with you there." She watched as Addison bowed to her and spoke, “It is, indeed, my intention to one day serve a Sister.  Goodbye, Jaydena Sedai.” The young woman hobbled off in the direction of the Yellows and as soon as she was far enough away, Cairma began to speak, "If you wish to ignore my presence, Jaydena, next time do it from across the Yard and not in front of my face. Now, get out what you were thinking and leave. I have a mentee to attend to and do not have time for Aes Sedai games. Especially from you." Embracing the Source she quickly wrapped her once Gaidin in bonds of Air and walked up until their noses were nearly touching.

 

"How dare you Cairma. I am not the one ignoring you, you ignore me everytime you deny the love you still hold in your heart for me, and the dedication you hold to the bond we once held. How dare you speak to a Sister like that in front of a Trainee, you had no rights, and now she believes it is acceptable behavior to speak to an Aes Sedai in that tone and with those words. Is it possible that if you actually listened to me, you would have heard me saying how much I respect you and how amazing as a Gaidar you were. I am not playing games Cairma, you don't want me just like every other person I have ever cared for, but that doesn't mean I have to face you and watch the emotions of how much you don't want me cross your face." Her anger had disappeared and tears flooded her eyes as she stared into the eyes of the woman she had known so well. I can't believe that you would disrespect me so deeply in front of that Trainee, do you believe that that I should have to speak to you in front of her. I addressed you and mentioned you several times and since you don't want me why should I speak to you." She paced away from where Cairma was tied in the bonds, unable to move. "You will never dare to speak to me in that manner again." The anger had come back in a rush and she walked up to Cairma again, "If you dare to do so again, I will show you exactly who I am, that weather you care for me or not, or weather you realize or not, I am a force to be reckoned with in this Tower, and fully capable of bringing all form of pain down on your foolish head. Do not ever order me around again in front of anyone, you lost the right to do so when you made me break the bond between us. To not trifle with me Cairma, I mean it." She released the bonds on the woman and spoke one more time, "You will report to your Commander and you will tell them of what you have done, if you do not I will know it and you will not like my response." With that she turned and walked away, on her way to speak to Addision in the Infirmary...

 

Jaydena Mckanthur

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